Shea and Lytle Receive Containerization & Intermodal Institute Awards

William J. "Bill" Shea (left) and J. Christopher Lytle (right)
William J. "Bill" Shea (left) and J. Christopher Lytle (right)

Published Sep 19, 2019 9:20 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Containerization and Intermodal Institute (CII) presented its Connie Award to William J. "Bill" Shea, CEO of Direct ChassisLink Inc. (DCLI) on Tuesday. J. Christopher Lytle, recently retired Executive Director of the Port of Oakland and former head of the Port of Long Beach, was given the group's Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Connie Awards are presented annually to maritime industry leaders who’ve had substantial impact on container shipping. Lifetime Achievement awards recognize prolonged contributions to trade and transportation.

The award ceremony was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach. Michal J. DiVirgilio, CII President, noted that Shea is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience and is known as an innovator especially in the evolution of chassis leasing. "He oversaw the creation of DCLI when it was the chassis leasing division of Maersk. And, especially important in this market, Bill Shea is the visionary who created the Pool of Pools in 2015, which is the grey daily-use chassis pool that operates in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. His progressive approach to the chassis challenges has had a dramatic effect on the way these ports, the two largest harbors in North America, do business."
When discussing some of the challenges facing the intermodal industry today, Shea said: "Complex problems require complex solutions. Highly competitive environments require innovation and collaboration among all stakeholders.
"In the past 10 years, ocean carriers have joined alliances to share assets - but remain fierce competitors. Likewise, equipment providers have collaborated in pooling arrangements in certain markets like Los Angeles and Long Beach, while offering proprietary products and services in other markets to meet unique customer requirements and demand. There is no one size fits all model for equipment pooling in the U.S., and the free market environment is the best avenue to develop innovative solutions linking equipment provisioning models with global supply chain networks."
Presently, Shea serves on the Board of Directors of DCLI and Blume Global and on the Board of the International Institute of Container Lessors. He has a long history serving charitable organizations and has founded three charity wine auctions that have raised over $40 million for children's causes. He also sits on the San Francisco Family House board, an 80-unit facility that houses families whose children are undergoing treatment for life-threatening illnesses at University of California, San Francisco Hospital.

Lifetime Achievment

Lytle, recently retired Executive Director of the Port of Oakland and longtime shipping industry veteran, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. DiVirgilio said: "In presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award we are pleased for many reasons to honor Chris Lytle, a seasoned industry leader, who retired in July of this year from the Port of Oakland after serving as Executive Director since 2013." Lytle has held many senior leadership positions within the industry, including serving as Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach.
DiVirgilio noted: "In fact, I'd like to mention that when CII first considered a west coast Connie Award more than 10 years ago, it was Mr. Lytle, the then-Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Long Beach, who was instrumental in bringing the event here and launching our strong, decade-long partnership.

Lytle is credited with leading Oakland to record-high cargo volume in each of the past two years. His tenure was marked by the introduction of industry service innovations that included:

•     Near round-the-clock cargo pick-up and delivery for harbor truckers;
•     Online transaction-time reporting at marine terminals; and
•     Warehouse and distribution center development adjacent to the docks.
Prior to assuming the position at the Port of Oakland, Lytle served as the Executive Director at the Port of Long Beach. Before that, Lytle served as Vice President of West Coast Operations for CMA CGM, which has significant marine and terminal operations at the ports of Long Beach, Oakland and Seattle. He has held various leadership positions at P&O Ports North America, Denmark-based APM (Maersk) Terminals and Sea-Land Service, Inc. 
Throughout his career, Lytle has been affiliated with several associations in the maritime industry, including the Pacific Maritime Association and the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, where he was on the Board of Directors. He also has served on the boards of the Steamship Association of Southern California, the Propeller Club of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the Marine Exchange of Southern California, and was a member of the Executive Committee for the Center for International Trade and Transportation. Currently, he is on the board of the University of Denver's Intermodal Transportation Institute.